Written about 10 years ago!
Our human body is made-up of 200 bones fastened together by tissues and ligaments. The circulatory system employs our blood as it is drawn through the heart’s right chamber and winds into the lungs. The lungs secure the blood with much needed oxygen, mail it back to the heart via its left chamber, and finally propels into the main artery or aorta. The aorta’s blood branches into smaller and smaller places. The first are arteries, designated as arterioles, which ebb into the furthest recesses of our bodies through minute capillaries. Our immune system fends off unfriendly proteins, and infectious microorganisms, with a one two punch of antibodies. A deadly left uppercut makes holes in the foreign cells, and a swinging right hook engulfs and digests foreign matter. Our digestive system starts up in our mouths. The food is broken into fragments by our chewing and is mixed with saliva. It then goes down the esophagus and right into the stomach. The digestive process is redoubled by the ferocious activity of gastric and intestinal juices. The digested nutrients are then sucked into the small intestine. The remains of unassimilated foods, and waste substances from the liver, are passed into the large intestine and gloriously expelled from our bodies. The pituary gland secretes a variety of hormones. One of them governs the rate at which the cells utilize oxygen, and another imposes the metabolism of carbohydrates, sodium, and potassium. Finally, our skin is one big living organ! It protects us from drying up, controls the loss of fluids, and shields us from harmful substances. Its sweat glands are our body’s air conditioning, the skin receptors discriminate levels of body temperature and pain, and our fat cells insulate us. (Excerpts are taken from Microsoft’s 1999 edition of the Encarta Encyclopedia)
In the above passage of God’s arrangement for the function of our human body, three things struck me.
There are “no personalities and no permanent pew sitters” within the physical bodies’ members!
Every member knows exactly what its function and calling is. It does it effectively and naturally, it does not take attention to itself, and it always works at its peak.
Every bodily member’s role is active!
It does not assume a defensive but offensive posture, and it always is seeking to protect.
The church is Christ’s body and should operate along the lines as the human body.
Christianity cannot be an individual self-centered affair.
If it is, it fails to realize, that Christ has called forth the church through the active participation of all members, to manifest and make Him complete. If we cannot see this, we have misjudged what the supreme purpose of the church is.
Eph 1:6 (Into or unto)To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.
Eph1:12 That we (the church) should be (Into or unto) to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.
Eph 3:21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout (Into or unto) all ages, world without end. Amen.
Glory is the principle which makes the invisible Christ become visible in the church and throughout the world.
Glory is the invisible God’s visible mode of being. The Lord’s mighty deeds, glorious interventions, the manifestation of His presence, and the activity of the invisible are all brought through His glory.
God’s glory manifested through the church becomes the object of the world’s praise to God. The more glory, the more praise. The more glory, the more that Jesus Christ will be lifted up, and draw all men unto Himself.
This critical responsibility has been placed in the hands of the church.
Eph 1:22 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,
23 Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.
The church is viewed as a receptacle into which the blessings, the presence of God, and God’s inheritance, through Christ is funneled into, and manifested by.
God from His fullness fills all believers’ with all blessings, which belong to their being and welfare. If Christ filled the whole universe, so the church is filled with all.
The body of Christ will be filled with Christ’s fullness as, and when, it grows up into the fullness of Christ.
The more is the maturity and obedience of every believer, and the more that each believer fulfills her calling, the more will be the fullness or the very essence of the Lord in a local body.
The church is a society that is in vital connection with the Lord, sustained by His power, and it is the instrument by He works
The church makes Christ complete.
The church is also Christ’s divine receptacle, into which all that belongs to Christ is funneled by Him, so as to be used exclusively for His purposes.
It is by filling every person in a local body with His Spirit through obedience, that Christ becomes all and in all. His glory becomes fully manifested in a local body, and He draws all men unto Himself through the power of God and subsequent revival.
23 Which is his body, the fulness ( pleroma) of him that filleth all in all.
This church is filled with Christ’s pleroma or with all that constitutes the very Christ. The analogy of Christ’s pleroma is simple. What is a bottle of coca cola filled with? Coca cola, of course! What is Christ filled with then? Christ Himself of course! This is the pleroma of Christ. A local body in a state of maturity is the treasure bearer of Christ’s pleroma!
The church t is not only Christ’s body, but is the ONLY universal agent that is filled by Christ and can fully manifest Him.
Eph 3:10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold (numerous and multicolored) wisdom of God,
The church brings the numerous and multicolored wisdom or ways of God, so opposite to that of the world’s , so it might be known or be declared. God desires that His arrangements, His will, and His works might be displayed to angels, demons, and men, by the church. The church’s role is to declare the ways of God, and to make the invisible God, visible in glory to the whole universe!
Eph 2:21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:
This is defined as to frame together perfectly the members of Christ’s body, as parts of a building are brought together. Joining, cementing, and fitting together to form a building must take place, so that the building can then be raised up. The church accomplishes this, as all of its members perform to their peak efficiency by their callings, ministries, and giftings, in obedience. Everyone must participate or be in the process of one say participating.
This holy temple is in actuality, a Holy of Holies for the Lord.
The great lie of the enemy has been to place the function of the church into the hands of the few, and encourage most others to be permanent pew sitters, thus severely hampering the glory of God and the salvation of men.
Today, church philosophies that curtail or prohibit the use of spiritual gifts as to not offend the seeker, are stopping the manifested presence of Christ, and block the disciplining of those very people whom these churches are seeking not to offend!
Eph 2:22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.
Every believer individually and corporately are built up together with the object of constructing and abode or dwelling place for the Lord in the Spirit. A dwelling place is an abode where God will feel totally at home, and will have full rights to do as He pleases.
Col 2:2 That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ;
The knitting together comes after every member of the local church has been fit together into a proper building for the Lord through the ministries and callings of every person. The believers’ hearts are then knit together in affection. This oneness, in combination with the effectiveness of every member’s ministries and spiritual gifts, will bring this local body into a full understanding of the exact knowledge of the mystery of the Godhead and Trinity. This then is the fullness of the glory of God, which should be displayed to the world.
The can be seen as an entity that is in a continual process of being fitted together by every one’s ministry and gifts, being joined together in love and intimacy and growing in to God’s Holy of Holies to manifest His glory.
This fitting, joining, and growing to achieve spiritual growth continues as every member seize the head, which is Christ. It denotes the compact connection of one part with another.
Participation with the revealed Christ within in a local body to then propel Him in glory outwardly from the church through gifts and ministries to bring revival
Every local church should be a center of revival in the locality where God has placed it.
Eph 4:16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.
Every member must find his or her place in the body in terms of his or her ministry, giftings and callings and raised up in them.